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This review is for the new 09 CDI in right hand drive - the first RHD CDI's available in this country.
I have had smart cars for many years - this being my first CDI. The engine is absolutely perfect for this car, its only 800cc but makes the driving experience rather funky with its little jerks! The sequential gear change is also faster than previous models and i can garantee that unless you are a racing driver you could change any quicker!
The benefit of the CDI over the petrol is definately the MPG and the £0 car tax. Having recently done a london to edinburgh run with the smart community, I produce figures of 82MPG whic is not far off their 85MPG quoted figures. I will however say that round town i get 65 which is still very good.
Space inside is great, although its a very small car - the front is no different from other small cars space wise - there's just less behind you! It is sturdy and very well built and safety test and given it top marks!
Well, what to say about this funny, little, ridiculous, wonderful car? After all, i love it. Its still something special to drive one, after all this years. Not an usual one, too may of them are already on the street, especially in Germany, where I live, but one of the good things about a smart is that you get him and all the accessories in all colors and styles yo ucan imagine. My smart is black with yellow interior, has aluminium rims and a holder for bikes behind, and this means the bike is higher than the car, be sure people will look! So if you are pathlogical shy or a criminal and have something to hide, dont drive such a car! You get bicycle holders for every car, but for smart it looks totally different, as all in this car. Thats good and bad at the same time. Good, beause you can be sure to have something special, goodlooking, bad, because you have no choice to look for a cheap one and the prices of accessories for smart are high! No chance to get something in a supemarket. Especially the tires, so little like for a fiat, but prizes of Mercedes Benz. If you live in England you will not have the problem of a hard winter with much snow, this can be a problem, beause the handling on snow is not very good. But in England you drive on the left side, so its good to have a little, very little car, to avoid accidents with tourists from the continent, and this car has place also between to other cars. You can park with this car everywhere, and I mean everywhere! In Germany is actually a discussion going on with the police, if its allowed with this car to park in a 90 degrees angle to other cars! This easy way of finding a place to park is a plus you may not credit if you live in the country, but if you live in a city you will thank God for this car! The gasoline consumption is not 3 litres like they write in the document of the car, but its less than 4 litres, and this means, you can for example with 20 Euros from Germany to Fran
ce and back!!! The different gear-change (kick change) is not a problem, believe me, you will get this every easy, also not the much electronics in this car. I had the fear that this may be a problem in a strong winter night, and the automatic key will not work and if you have no real lock, what you do? But the electronic works wonderful! Mercedes Benz in this car, dont forget this. Apropos Mercedes Benz: As I said the prices for everything in this car are high, but also the security!! Cant compare this car with a Fiat, when you have a crash!!! The safety tests are impressing. Yes, the car is small, but after all i am 1.85 m tall and had more place than in my BMW before. Yes, you have no big luggage compartment, but its not so little, you get three chests of beers in it. I proved it! So you can take this car also to go shopping in the supermarket, if you dont go shopping for the Kelly Family.
I bought my "Hello-Yellow" CDI in October 2000 because I was fed up of filling my V6 ford with £55 worth of fuel two or three times each week. It replaced the Mondeo Ghia X Estate which I had owned for three years and was my work horse. I was a bit of a risk because I regularly travel 25000 miles each year running my own consultancy business but I was impressed by the test drive and my wife thought that the visibilty from the passenger seat was excellent - so I took the plunge. My first comment is about the size inside the vehicle. This truly is a two seater and therefore the manufactureres have not had to squeeze the interior at all. It feels bigger than the Ford and certainly has as much if not more leg room in the passenger seat. The heating is sufficient but does take quite a long time to warm up on a cold winter's morning. Mine is left hand drive (as they all are at the date of this report) but I have found that no disadvantage at all (unless I am speaking to an entry phone in a car park). All my business luggage fits easily in the back (Three flight briefcases and my own personal "suiter") and I recently took my Daughter-in-law to heathrow with Two 22 Kilo cases, all hand baggage (and the two of us as well)all comfortably stacked in the car. On the road it is quite amazing. I often exceed the national speed limit on british motorways (just to keep up with the rest of the cars)and at 85 mph the engine does not seem under any strai at all. My longest journey (Bristol - Glasgow - Bristol) proved that the economy figures given out by the makers were a bit on the ambitious side but I do get 65-70 MPG all round which can't be bad. If you are thinking of buying one remember that you can't take friends out for the week-end in it so it probably will be a second car but you will be able to park it anywhere you like (legally of course) and it will become the talk of all you friends. PS - I have just had mine serviced at smart - Bi
rmingham - and they were brilliant - couldn't be more helpful - and serve a mean cup of coffee. Have Fun